"When Erin Cox, a high school honors student and captain of her volleyball team, got a phone call from a friend in trouble, she didn’t hesitate.
Her friend was drunk at a party earlier this month and asked Cox to take her home. Cox agreed, and went to pick up her friend.
“I felt like going to get her was the right thing to do,” Cox told the Boston Herald. “Saving her from getting in the car when she was intoxicated and hurt[ing] herself or getting in the car with someone else who was drinking. I’d give her a ride home.”
But moments after Cox got there, police arrived at the party as well. They busted several kids for underage possession of alcohol and warned others — including Cox — that they would be summoned to court for drinking, the Herald reported.
Even though Cox wasn’t drinking and wasn’t in possession of alcohol — and despite a police officer vouching for her sobriety in writing — that wasn’t good enough for North Andover High School.
Officials there told Cox that she violated the district’s zero-tolerance policy against alcohol and drug use, Boston’s WBZ-TV reported. So the 17-year-old senior was demoted from her captain’s position on the volleyball team and suspended for five games........."
"The saga of Erin Cox — the Massachusetts high school honors student and former volleyball team captain who was punished by her school for trying to help a drunk friend — has gone viral.
Despite overwhelming consensus that Cox — who police say was not drinking or in possession of alcohol — did the right thing and shouldn’t have been suspended from her team or stripped of her captain’s status, two prominent voices disagree.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving President Jan Withers told Fox News that North Andover High School was right to punish Cox, whom Withers said should have called an adult instead of driving to the party herself in an attempt to pick up her drunk friend.
“Underage drinking is so very dangerous, that’s why MADD appreciates this school’s effort,” said Withers, who nevertheless applauded Cox’s intentions. “I’m not there and I don’t know all of the details, but indeed, their efforts to prevent underage drinking through zero tolerance are admirable......"
Underage drinking is so very dangerous - so much so that we applaud a school for disciplining a student that assisted a friend so that she did not have to be involved with a drunk driving incident. I assume that, if in fact the girl who had been drinking had in fact been assaulted or was otherwise fully incapacitated, MADD and the school would have preferred that the good student just leave her friend to rot.
Here is an except of an email that the responding police department released
The North Andover Citizen posted an emailfrom Boxford Police Officer Brian Neeley to the North Andover Public School administration about his encounter with Cox.
“… I responded with several other officers to an under aged party … Erin Cox was one of many people under the age of 21 at the residence. I had the opportunity to speak with an (sic) observe Erin Cox while waiting for her mother to arrive. Erin did not have the slightest odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from her person. She was polite, articulate, steady on her feet, and very remorseful for her decision to go into the residence but was only helping out a friend that had called her for a ride. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me,” Neeley wrote"